Ettore Bassignani (MSc International Business 2015)

Ettore Bassignani

Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it?

I studied on the MSc International Business (IB) programme in 2013/2014. I chose this degree mainly because of its reputation as one of the best Master-level courses worldwide for learning international business. Aside from its reputation, I was also inspired to join the degree because of the chance it offered to network and make friends with people from all over the world. Finally, the last motive was the option to extend my MSc to include a three-month period studying a specialisation at a partner university overseas (called Masters Beyond Borders (MBB)).

What was the best part of your studies here? What did you enjoy the most?

The two best parts of my time on the MSc IB were the great, close-knit network of friends I made in Leeds and my experiences studying abroad. During my MSc, I got the opportunity to study in China at Zhejiang University for a summer entrepreneurship course and in Spain at IE Business School for my MBB three-month specialisation in Sales and Marketing. I have to say that these two experiences abroad, where I was accompanied by a couple of close friends from my cohort, were my favourite parts of my course. Studying abroad complemented my Leeds-based MSc IB with education from two other world-class Universities with completely different cultures and teaching styles. This really made my course stand out in terms of learning, networking and impact on my CV.

Do you think the experience and skills you gained here will help/helped you in your future career plans? In what way?

My entire experience on the MSc IB greatly benefited me, as I was able to learn a great variety of soft skills (i.e. teamwork, communication, presentation and leadership) alongside all the theoretical and practical international business knowledge. Also, both my experiences abroad and those with my very international cohort on the MSc helped me deeply understand more about other people’s cultures and way of doing business. All of these skills and experiences will be invaluable in my future career as a consultant, where I will need to mix all the soft skills I gained and my technical knowledge. Also, my international exposure will also help me work more efficiently for both foreign clients and international companies.
How do you think the Business School improved your employability?

Leeds University Business School has improved my employability by helping me better understand how to match my skills with what employers want mainly thanks to the Career Centre and our MSc career development modules. Also, the Business School provides students with many chances to understand your weaknesses and then help you build on them and improve them. For example, I visited Spark to learn more about becoming an entrepreneur and to start gaining transferable skills that are important for running my own business in the future.
Where are you currently working, and what is your role?

I am currently finishing my MBB at IE Business School in Madrid, however I will shortly return to the UK and start working in PwC’s consulting department.
What are your ambitions for the future?

My ambitions for the future lie mainly in completing my initial training period at PwC and then continuing my consulting career for a few years. After that, I plan to decide whether to continue pursuing a career in consulting or whether to move into industry. However, after gaining corporate experience, I would also like to open and develop my own business.
What would you say is your defining memory of studying here? 

My defining memory on the MSc IB course is, perhaps surprisingly, my cohort’s weekly football matches. We would meet at the Edge every weekend (or sometimes twice a week) and play friendly matches. It was during these games that I actually built most of the closest and longest lasting friendships I made with any of my course mates. We also had the great opportunity to organise and play a game against our professors towards the end of Semester 2, where a large part of our circa 160 course mates came to watch making the event one of the most popular on Facebook in the Leeds area that weekend! I will always remember beating them after a long and grueling Semester 2!!

To conclude, I would greatly recommend both Leeds University Business School and the MSc IB course in particular to anyone wanting a course that goes far beyond the simple syllabus and really prepares you for your future career.